I don't know if it was intentionally planned or not. But this week The Faint is in a battle with old label mate Conor Oberst for the number one indie album. It may not be as publicized as the album battle of Kanye West and 50 Cent, but it is no less significant...for me, at least. Conor Oberst was actually a member of the early incarnation of The Faint for about 5 minutes and they both remained on the same label up until now. Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst) has put out a couple more albums than The Faint. Saddle Creek helped to make them both household names across the world, at least in the indie rock community. I was always more of a Faint fan. I didn't give in to Conor until years after my Faint obsession began. But I became a Faint fun much like how I became a Bright Eyes fan. I was sort of forced into it-- I had resisted The Faint for a couple of years. I had heard about them and knew some of my friends were fans but just had not gotten around to listening to them yet. I was going through a big R & B phase in my life at the time, so indie rock was not as much of a priority. I was intrigued as soon as I found out that The Faint were using keyboards and sort of adopting a more synthy sound. My first Faint album was actually their third album, Danse Macabre. A friend of mine gave me the record for my birthday. It was actually just a couple of months before I made the first big move back to Los Angeles. He told me that he knew I would love it, and I fell in love with the album, as did many of us. Sort of like with the Teaches of Peaches album by Peaches, I became obsessed. The album just seemed to take over many peoples lives. I couldn't stop listening to it, it was so good. It was one of those albums that I was so glad to have discovered. I was just so glad that it existed.
Danse Macabre didn't exactly change my life, but I did spend a lot of time listening to it. I took it with me on my journey back to Los Angeles. It was my friend. It was also a great record to hear out and about in clubs and bars. Everyone seemed to love it. It didn't really fit into the electroclash movement, but it came out at the same time. I had always loved electronic and synth albums, and I always sought out any rock albums with keyboards on it. They just made it better. I love new wave more than anything, and I am always excited when bands sort of reinterpret new wave and make it sound new and different. It is "new" new wave. I was playing keyboards in a band at the time as well. I went and saw The Faint play a couple of times on that tour and anxiously awaited their next album. Wet From Birth was only a let down because I naturally compared it to Danse Macabre. It was impossible for them to make an album better than that. I just couldn't imagine anything being better. I liked this next album, just not as much. But I was hooked on The Faint regardless-- I couldn't really go back at this point. When an album by some artist has such an impact on me, I always remain loyal to the band. I feel like I owe them some loyalty after they shared some great album with me. I feel the same way about Blonde Redhead and Black Heart Procession. I know some people love to put down new albums of bands that they once loved. They always expect the next album to be greater than the last. But that is not always possible. It also does not make much sense to just keep remaking the same album over and over again.
So it is time for another new Faint Album. The new album is called Fasciinatiion. They left their label Saddle Creek for this new album, just as Conor Oberst decided to go solo, drop the Bright Eyes name, and jump to Merge Records. The Faint decided to keep their name and put out this new album on their own newly created label. I have had the album for a couple of weeks now. I didn't really fall in love with it after the first listen, but that rarely happens. I was still trying to compare it to Danse Macabre. I finally just came around and started loving the album this last weekend. Like the other Faint albums, it is very short. It seems to end soon after you start getting into it, so I recommend that you just put it on repeat. My favorite songs on the record are "Mirror Error" and "Forever Growing Centipedes." These are the songs that I keep going back to. I am happy that The Faint are back with this new album. I have come to the realization that there will not be another Danse Macabre, and so should you. The Cure have a new album out in a couple of weeks. And I know that they will never make an album as great at Disintegration. I am OK with that, but that doesn't make me any less excited about the new album. I am just glad that they are still a recording and touring band. I really doubt that The Faint thought this new album could be compared to the Cure album with the similar sounding name, but I am sure that they are a fan of it. Fasciinatiion sounds like Disintegration. And there is the great song called "Fascination Street" from the album Disintegration. They just added a couple of "I's" to make it their own. It did put a smile on my face just to think about that Cure album and how it changed my life. This new Faint album may not change your life, but that doesn't make it any less great. It is a fun album and it makes me happy. As I said before, I am now forever loyal to them. I just owe it to them. Go listen to it. I doubt you will become a new fan if you were not before, but maybe it is possible. You could love this album and then go back and listen to Danse Macabre and fall in love with The Faint like I did!
also out today...
Airborne Toxic Event by Airborne Toxic Event
Funf by Clinic
Correcto by Correcto
Ed Banger Records Vol. 3
Conor Oberst by Conor Oberst